dating again (part 3.5)
lately when i think about dating, this scene from best in show keeps popping into my head. “we met at starbucks. not at the same starbucks, but we saw each other at different starbucks across from each other.”
dating is miserable. it’s become one of those things that i am starting to hate. i used to think i was good at it – that i had it down to some sort of science, but no longer. it’s confusing and complicated and unfulfilling. look, i don’t mean to sound like a complete pessimist, but i would argue that in today’s time period dating is harder than it’s ever been. let me explain why…
…i’ve always considered myself a bit of a traditionalist. i prefer to call over text. i prefer to pick up rather than meet. and i always pick up the check. that strategy no longer works. now you call and they text back. now they don’t want you to pick them up. they want to meet you at the bar or restaurant. and the check…well, you should always pick up the check on the first several – not couple of – dates. my point is that things have changed so much that a) it’s no longer fun to date and b) we don’t know how to do it anymore.
here’s the other thing: where do you meet girls these days? i have no clue. i tried match. it was a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. i tried tinder and bumble and then realized that it was much more exciting to get a match than it was to actually communicate with someone – mainly because the communication is exactly the same in every instance. for example, here’s how it typically goes down:
girl: hey, how’s your day going?
me: it’s going great so far. what about you?
girl: mine’s good too. where are you from?
me: nashville. what about you?
girl: i’m from chicago. i just moved to town.
me: cool. what brought you here?
girl: i have a bunch of friends here and nashville seemed like a cool city.
are you exhausted yet? i am. obviously, you can put more into your opening conversations, but for the most part they’re all very basic i.e. you don’t want to over-serve or under-serve your personality for fear of scaring them off. i wonder what the percentage of matches is that actually lead to an in person date. it has to be under 10%. i’m sure these dating apps work in certain situations (everyone has that one friend that met their significant other on tinder), but i find them to be a waste of time.
i’m also starting to think that social media has ruined our view of what a relationship is supposed to look like. we spend our days and nights glued to our phones looking at other people’s lives and not living our own. it reminds me of the opening of when harry met sally. sally tells harry that nothing’s happened in her life and she’s moving to new york to be a journalist. he then says, “so you can write about things that happen to other people.” nailed it. we look at couples on facebook and instagram and think their lives are perfect. no relationship is perfect. no one’s life is perfect, but we continue to compare and dissect our own lives based on these carefully staged photos. theodore roosevelt said, “comparison is thief of joy.” that should be the motto of the facebook era (fomo anyone?).
i’m worn out. i’m tired of dating. i would like to meet that special someone, but it’s really not worth the effort. all of my friends* keep telling me, “you’re going to meet someone when you least expect it.” what does that mean exactly? i can come up with 1000 different least expect it scenarios that will never happen…like…i’m in the emergency room and my doctor – who is a pretty blonde in high heels – reattaches my arm and then falls madly in love with me. or maybe i go for an oil change and the love of my life rolls out from under my car and instantly we know we were meant for each other. i’m not gonna hold my breath.
*it’s worth noting that your attached friends – married or in a serious relationship – will feed you any cliche to get you to stop talking about your dating life unless you’ve had a random hookup. they want to hear about that.
again, i don’t mean to sound like a pessimist. i’ve got a game plan. i’m moving to china to become a shaolin monk (they may be celibate but they know kung fu). kidding. kidding. i’m taking a break for a little while or at least until i see the future mrs. to take the train sitting on her mac at the starbucks across the street from my starbucks reading a j. crew catalog.